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Fermanagh-South Tyrone: Foster romps home but SDLP also celebrating

By Staff Reporter

Published 09/05/2016

Richie McPhillips enjoys the moment after being elected
Richie McPhillips enjoys the moment after being elected

The SDLP gained its first ever seat from Sinn Fein, with Richie McPhillips providing the big surprise and re-establishing the party's foothold in Fermanagh-South Tyrone.

Afterwards, Mr McPhillips caused controversy after stopping short of congratulating one of the two Sinn Fein MLAs elected.

He pointedly omitted Sean Lynch, moments after accusing some of using "dirty tricks" during the election campaign.

Although Mr Lynch was returned alongside former MP Michelle Gildernew, Sinn Fein paid a high price for a bungled selection process.

It fielded four candidates - one more than it could expect to return - and ended up losing a seat.

Outgoing MLA Phil Flanagan was eliminated on Friday night, and John Feely failed to get elected on Saturday.

On Friday Arlene Foster led a DUP one-two, securing more than 8,800 first preference votes.

Party colleague Maurice Morrow was elected on the second count.

Belfast Telegraph

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